Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Committee Hearings – Week of 7-10-22

With both the House and Senate in session this week, and both trying to get a lot accomplished before the summer recess starts at the end of the month, there is a moderate load of hearings scheduled for this week. We have the NDAA Rules Committee hearing that I have been talking about in the House. There are two Senate hearings of interest: BIS oversight hearing and a counter UAS hearing. The House version of the NDAA will hit the floor this week and there might be along delayed vote on the cyber forensics bill from last month.

NDAA Hearing

Today, the House Rules Committee will take up HR 7900, the FY 2023 NDAA in a rule hearing. The rule will include two abortion bills and an active shooter bill, so there will be some contentious debates in the House this week. Depending on the order that the bills are taken up, we might not see a final vote on the NDAA this week.

The Rules Committee also announced an amendment deadline for a mini-bus spending bill. It looks like the plan is to combine six of the less controversial spending bills into a single bill to bring to the floor next week. This might allow the Senate to actually take up the bill before the end of the fiscal year, something they have not been able to do in a number of years. The deadline for amendments is Wednesday. The rule hearing will likely be next week.  More on this later.

BIS Oversight

On Thursday, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold an oversight hearing on “Advancing National Security and Foreign Policy Through Export Controls: Oversight of the Bureau of Industry and Security”. The sole witness will be Alan Estevez, DOC’s Under Secretary for Industry and Security. There is a possibility that questions will be asked about cybersecurity export controls, but I expect that the focus will be on sanctions on Russia, China, Iran and North Korea; BIS also manages the details of those programs.

Counter UAS Hearing

On Thursday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Protecting the Homeland from Unmanned Aircraft Systems”. The witness list includes: 

• Robert Silvers, DHS,

• Brad Wiegmann, DOJ,

• Tonya D. Coultas, FAA

This hearing may be a lead up to legislation reauthorizing the very limited authority that DHS and DOJ have for taking out UAS that endanger a limited number of federal activities. That authorization expires later this year. At the very least there should be an interesting discussion about what changes need to be made to the criminal code to allow wider spread counter UAS actions. 

I do expect that Coultas will be asked about the FAA’s continuing lack of action on the rulemaking on allowing critical infrastructure facilities to ask FAA to be declared ‘No Fly Zones’ for UAS. I expect that a reasonable answer might include the reality that a ‘no fly zone’ with no local enforcement capability is just a waste of time.

On the Floor

As noted above, HR 7900 is scheduled to come to the floor this week in the House, along with three other controversial bills. Fifteen new bills are on the schedule to be considered under the suspension of the rules process, including a cybersecurity bill (HR 7535, the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act) that I have not covered. Additionally, there should be (well, ‘may be’ is probably a better term) votes on seven bills that were debated last month under the suspension of the rules process, including HR 7174, the National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act of 2022. There are going to be a lot of late nights in the House this week.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */